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May 12, 2017
Campbell Law confers 141 degrees at 2017 graduation

RALEIGH, N.C. - Campbell Law School conferred 141 Juris Doctor degrees at its 39th annual hooding and graduation ceremony on Friday, May 12 at Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein delivered the commencement address.

View the graduation photo gallery on the Campbell Law School Facebook page at

The Class of 2017 is comprised of 135 graduates, while the law school also awarded two degrees to August 2016 graduates and four from December 2016. Fifty-seven different undergraduate institutions were represented in the commencement exercise.
“Take confidence in what we have given you,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard. “We have taught you to analyze an issue thoroughly, write persuasively, and stand on your feet and comfortably defend your position. With our rigorous curriculum, you have mastered most substantive areas of the law, and learned to work under deadlines that are real.

“We have encouraged you to learn leadership by taking charge of and running the student groups and activities that we offer. We have taught you to trust your own moral compass when others propose shortcuts. And we have put you out in this community, in externships, clinics pro bono initiatives, and mentorships to learn how the practice of law works. You are ready.”  

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein served as the commencement speaker, touching on three principles that lawyers must defend; an independent judiciary, a free press and free and fair elections.

“By fighting for these principles we demonstrate respect for our democracy itself,” said Attorney General Stein. “When these tenants are threated, they need defending. That defense is the job of a lawyer.

“Graduates of the class of 2017, Campbell Law School has prepared you well for what’s next. I am confident that you will find a way to enjoy your career as you fulfill Campbell’s mission by serving others and creating a more just society.”

Campbell Law also formally honored and bid farewell to retiring professor William “Woody” Woodruff after 25 years of service to the law school. Woodruff hooded graduates and provided the benediction in his final act as a member of the full-time faculty.

Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law School has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. The school has twice received the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the American Bar Association, honoring its First-Year Professionalism Development Series in 2003 and the Connections mentorship program in 2016. The school has also been recognized by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 3,900 alumni, including more than 3,000 who reside and work in North Carolina. In September 2009, Campbell Law relocated to a state-of-the-art building in downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit




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